Deck the Haven

Tis’ the season, everybody! And we all know that means a few things. For Californians, it means surviving a heat wave unprecedented and unwarranted. For other locations, it probably means colder weather, fireplace conversations, hot chocolate, and endless reruns of Elf or Christmas Story. Ok, we still try to do that here in Southern California, but not as great success sadly. One event that excites me more than anything during this season at Biola, however, is Deck the Haven!

For those of you who don’t know what Deck the Haven is, it is a campus (and even local area) event that my floor, Haven, puts on for the holidays. It actually was cancelled this summer, but because of a dedicated and loyal persistence of some people around Biola, we got it back, but with a few stipulations. We used to wrap our entire floor in Christmas wrapping paper and lights as well as create themed rooms, sort of like rides at Disneyland. While some rooms become used as storage, some are transformed into attractions themed around Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, cowboy train robberies, or helping Santa save Christmas from rebellious elves. Yeah, it is absolutely crazy. This year, however, we hosted the event in a tent on a parking lot by our fluor fountain. While it was a bigger venue than past years, it was definitely a whole new beast to handle as far as creativity for rooms and logistically for spacing.

This year, my friends and I decided to do a western saloon where guests engaged in horseshoe tossing, dart plating, line-dancing, and pictures with cowboy Santa. It was unlike anything I have ever done. We had 24 hours to set it up, and we worked our station from 4:30 to 10:30 pm. It was more than worth every minute of sleep loss. Other rooms consisted of an escape room from none other than a recreation of our President Correy’s office, a Ghostbuster target shooting, protecting Santa as the Rebel Alliance from the Empire in a Star Wars nerf room, a visually aesthetic room for posting and taking pictures of cool artwork, and lastly there was a room where people can enter and receive comedic relationship from two freshmen students. Overall, it came out really well and I am proud of my floor for pushing through the adversities.

Why do I write this? Is it to entice you, the reader, to come to Biola so that you too can enjoy and take part of the amazing events and opportunities we host here on campus? Yes. Is it so that you can one day come to or even help create a room for Deck the Haven so that its tradition may live on for millenia? Without a doubt. But truly, overall, I was just hoping to share something fun my floor does as a way to give back to the community of Biola to destress from the impending finals. We gave away our time and our sleep to put on this event and we all knew the cost, yet we still wanted to take part in it. We love this school, and we love the event that brings us all together for an evening. And now begins finals, but hopefully we provided people an outlet to have fun and engage with one another beforehand.

Deck the Haven is a perfect way to prepare our spirits and minds for the holiday season. It gives us a reason to push forward and through finals so that we can return to a place of tranquility and peace for the holidays. I felt as if it is a great way to kick off Christmas break where people who participated can get just as excited as us for Christmas break! If you’re ever in La Mirada near the beginning of December, be sure to stop by for some Christmas cheer and student handiwork. In addition, I hope you guys have an amazing Christmas break! Wherever that may be, or whatever you do for the holidays, I pray for peace, comfort, and a overbounding amount of joy. Thank you, and until next time!

-Max Klaiber